Martin John Callanan June 22, 2012 at 7:33 am

e-flux need to release more details of their plans for the TLD. I guess the essence is to sell on domains, so cost? eligibility?. It also needs to be open to a global audience as it’s the internet.

Paddy Johnson June 22, 2012 at 9:00 am

If you feel like reading through their public application, you can see what they’ve said. http://gtldresult.icann.org/application-result/applicationstatus/applicationdetails/540

Martin John Callanan June 22, 2012 at 9:08 am

Nothing about cost, but Eligibility is aimed primarily at e-flux’s existing customer base:

20.e: 1) Eligibility

Strict eligibility requirements should allow the Applicant to build awareness among the members of the art community and the Internet community at large that the .art gTLD exists, that the domain names registered under .art and the content provided on the websites to which those domain names point are in fact related to art. This way, the Applicant would provide an incentive for other members of the art community to use domain names in this extension.

At a later stage, in addition to the Applicant and⁄or its subsidiaries, members of the art community will possibly be entitled to register domain names in .art. That is to say, one of the main eligibility criteria will be that the interested party wishing to register a domain name in the .art TLD is, directly or indirectly, a professional or semi-professional member of the art community.

The initial registrants of the domain will be primarily art museums, art centers and galleries, publishing houses and publications, schools and academies of art, research and fellowship institutes and programs, public and private collections, funding organizations and NGOs, residency programs and international exhibitions such as biennials—in essence, the entities that bear the most responsibility and are most visible to art audiences.

tom moody June 22, 2012 at 9:52 am

This plan has the potential to remove the heartbreak, uncertainty, and awe of a question that has long plagued artists and especially the public: “Is it art?”
“I may not know much about art but I know what’s on the .art domain.”
“Yeah it’s just a urinal but I saw it on .art so what are ya gonna do?”
The internet eliminated gatekeepers, at least it was starting to, and now E-Flux wants to be the uber-gatekeeper for “art.”
E-Flux completely buys into, and is trying to sell us on, the hype that the net is about to undergo a paradigm shift based on these new domains and that people will change their search habits to, say, only look on .food for something to eat and on .car for wheels. To win its application it tries to scare us that the philistines will take over art if you don’t vote for E-flux.
The beauty of art on the net is it’s spread around sites like .fm, .com, even .biz. E-Flux has the potential with this scheme to be the new Facebook of art (you have to be on it to play). It is already Facebook-like in its maintenance of an exclusive mailing list.
.art under E-Flux also has the worrisome potential to become a place of knee-jerk left orthodoxy: trolls, wingnuts, and future urinal-appropriators need not apply.
What are the alternatives? One of the above-mentioned business entities wins .art, turning it into a tacky, profit-oriented no-go zone for anyone with a creative bone, and art continues to thrive in a decentralized way.

manbartlett June 22, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Moody raises some interesting points. But although there is certainly art on non .com sites it’s fair to say it’s spread pretty thin. Or at least the novelty of the extension is often part of the “experience” of the work/site. Related, would love to see a comprensive list of non .com art projects/sites (besides dump.fm and netstyl.es [which I just checked redirects to a tumblr, lulz]).

As far as gatekeeping is concerned, it is going to happen one way or another. Which is totally unfortunate. But I for one would MUCH rather have e-flux manage it than http://www.deviantart.com/. Even if it still ends up being a failure.

And regardless of domain extension, art can and will continue to experiment/thrive in a decentralized way. I doubt e-flux (or any of the applicants) have the power to stop that.

Martin John Callanan June 22, 2012 at 3:51 pm

There is plenty/masses of art outside the .com TLD. Most artists I can think of don’t use .com. 

The key difference is all existing TLD are country specific or have open eligibility, and the proposed new ones have gatekeepers with their own rules (such as the existing .edu specifically reserved for USA educational institutions or .mil for USA military). 

manbartlett June 22, 2012 at 3:58 pm

I’m not debating the crappiness of the gatekeeping scenario. It sucks. Majorly. However it would appear that we are beyond the ability to control that now.

Relative to the number of artists on .com’s, I doubt that. However, like I said, I’d love to see a list. Even off the top of ppl’s heads.

Martin John Callanan June 22, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Thankfully someone already made a list: http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Artists/

andrej June 22, 2012 at 6:07 pm

why is e-flux the better of the two?

deviantart does a lot of good work for a lot of artists and this would be an extension of that.

Paddy Johnson June 23, 2012 at 9:39 am

I wonder to what extent museums will actually move over to the new extension. If you’ve had MoMA.org for 15-20 years what’s the incentive to change? I can see .art having much more appeal in Europe, where a lot of the institutions use their country’s suffix. 

Charles Desmarais June 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm

I agree that e-flux is almost certainly the best of an otherwise bad lot of applicants. But don’t be so sure that the for-profit business will “return the revenues generated by the service in the form of grants and funding” and will spend “the majority of that money on supporting art.” The way I read the application, they are talking about donating 10%. And not 10% of revenues; 10% of profits.

Paddy Johnson June 23, 2012 at 9:35 am

Updated the post. 

Grace Weir June 22, 2012 at 4:51 pm

One alternative is e-flux donate .art freely back to the people. No one should decide what art or .art is. Exactly the way .com is now. 
.art being free does not preclude e-flux.art from pursuing their stated aims and curatorial strategies, in much the same way they do already with e-flux.com. And it allows other global art voices to decide content or funding strategies.

The above article is misleading, it says ” Of the contenders, only e-flux are proposing to spend the majority of that money on supporting art.” On e-flux’s actual application they say 
” Applicant’s commitment to the community is further expressed by its intention to donate at least 10% of its operating profits to one or more art-related projects.” 
I think its time for some real transparency from e-flux.

Paddy Johnson June 23, 2012 at 9:31 am

I’ll update the post. e-flux says on their website that a “substantial part of the revenues generated by this service will be returned to the art community in a form of grants and funding for underfunded art institutions, organizations and projects.” and I misread that. 

friendship person June 22, 2012 at 7:54 pm
Anton_Vidokle June 24, 2012 at 10:13 am

Dear all, we are not planning to curate the art domain, should we get to develop it. Not sure why people assume we would do that. What is important is not to sell name space indiscriminately only to maximize profits, and to prevent speculators from registering names that belong to other organizations and individuals. Applications for name spaces will indeed be reviewed, primarily to make sure that only Paddy Johnson will be able to register PaddyJohnson.art or only the Brooklyn Museum can get BrooklynMuseum.artPeople who work at e-flux are artists and writers, just like yourself. We are not politicians or businessmen, and do not employ deceptive logic. Its very important that there is some solidarity in the artistic community, and that we trust our fellow practitioners. If we can’t manage that, our community will always be prey to the rich and powerful of this world, who will just continue milking it for money, creativity, gentrification, social prestige or whatever it is they want to get from artists.Lastly, the gold rush is not guaranteed: most domains other than .com have failed to earn much money. However if the art domain becomes popular, this could create a significant source of independent funding for art at a time when such resources are rapidly disappearing world wide. We will do our best to realize this.

Anton Vidokle

tom moody June 27, 2012 at 8:08 am

Anton, it’s misleading to say, as you do in your pitch, that “the structure of the internet is about to shift in such a way that most information pertaining to food will be found in a .food domain, while most information on cars will likely be found in a .car domain, and so forth.” Many commentators have argued that the new top level domains are a scam or sham — extortion of well-capitalized companies by ICANN — that will have no significant effect on people’s search habits.

auralee July 11, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I’d just point out that even if deviantart’s current owners’ hearts are in the right place, eventually they’ll either sell it or die.  The same is true of e-flux; but I have greater confidence that the owners of e-flux will have the intention, foresight, and competence to ensure that when the original crew are gone, control will pass to others possessing similar qualifications.

Joshua July 21, 2012 at 4:43 pm

There is a fundamental error in the suggestion that e-flux would manage the .art domain with a superior hand to that of deviantART or even some of the overtly commercial applicants for the .art gTLD.  With 22 million registered members and 60 million unique monthly visits and serving over 2.5 billion pageviews of art a month, deviantART actually understands the scale of the matter and understands how to effectively use the Internet with the arts. It has produced a worldwide proletarian revolution of participation in the visual arts. The majority of its traffic and members are non-U.S.. It spans the cultures of every nation. E-flux could continue to diminish the artists on deviantART and claim for itself a plan to support the arts with the revenues from the .art gTLD, but in fact: deviantART sponsors every artist in Artists Alley at Comic Con International; in fact deviantART has a grants program and provides scholarships; in fact the deviantART community is a rich resource to the entire world of practicing artists, arts education and the nurturing of those with interest in the arts; and in fact deviantART is free for any artist, any art organization and any person to use – – and they do – – to connect to the arts in over 4,500 categories.  There is no historical precedent for this.  It is the power of the Internet to aggregate people with like interests.  DeviantART started this process 12 years ago, organically and authentically.  It is likely it would contribute essential knowledge, purpose and reach to any .art gTLD effort.  To turn the application process into an either/or exercise is completely unnecessary.

I work at deviantART. 

James Broyles July 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm

I am excited to see how different applicants handle or attempt to handle resolutions with other applicants. Some applicants, I think, should be ruled out on general principle. I understand that E-Flux is a large, respectable, and innovative group that will certainly have a lot of useful activity on .ART given a responsible and fair .ART manager, but I think I can remain confident that dA and Dadotart, Inc. will be the primary manager because of their unique experience with user interface, their experience with the widest varieties of art and users, and their proven track record of living up to the spirit of innovation, communities, and the arts.

An important factor here is that dadotart’s stated intent does not include turning all .ART domains into a deviantArt site or service. As I stated before, I believe that E-Flux will have plenty of useful operating room within .ART domains with dA managing it.

Paddy Johnson June 23, 2012 at 9:26 am

Hey Martin,

Why did you delete all your comments? They were good. 

manbartlett June 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Response 1): 

Martin John Callanan wrote, in response to manbartlett: 
There is plenty/masses of art outside the .com TLD. Most artists I can think of don’t use .com. The key difference is all existing TLD are country specific or have open eligibility, and the proposed new ones have gatekeepers with their own rules (such as the existing .edu specifically reserved for USA educational institutions or .mil for USA military). 

Response 2): Martin John Callanan wrote, in response to manbartlett:Thankfully someone already made a list: http://dir.yahoo.com/Arts/Artists/

Martin John Callanan June 26, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Because they are part of a conversation – temporary – not something worthy of indefinite preservation.

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